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CRIME

Jewelry thief dies in getaway car smash-up

A man who robbed a jewelry shop in western Sweden died after the gang's luxury getaway car smashed into a lamp post. Two of the man’s accomplices were also injured in the violent crash.

Jewelry thief dies in getaway car smash-up

“The man lay dead on the street. There was a machine gun in the grass,” a witness who arrived on the scene shortly after the accident told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Police commander Claes Ohlsson confirmed for Sveriges Television (SVT) that one of the robbers had died in the crash.

It was shortly after 10.30am when four men parked their black Jaguar outside the Guldfynd jewelry store in central Varberg.

Donning masks, three of the assailants darted inside carrying baseball bats and wooden clubs to rob the shop.

From the street, glass could be heard shattering inside the store, and the three men emerged again, racing back toward the Jaguar.

“No one was hurt,” Lars Grimbeck, a spokesperson for the Halland police, told the TT news agency.

The fourth member of the gang, who had been sitting outside in the waiting vehicle, stepped on the gas and the Jaguar peeled out of sight at high speed.

The quartet’s getaway took them out onto route 153, which heads east toward Ullared and Värnamo, but their escape didn’t last long.

After driving a little more than a kilometre, the driver lost control of the vehicle for as of yet unknown reasons, causing it to veer off the road and into a lamp post.

“One of the guys was tossed out and probably flew 15 to 20 metres before he landed on the other side of the road,” witness Christoffer Svensson told the Expressen newspaper.

The man who was thrown from the car, along with two other men were injured so severely that they were unable to leave the area and were taken to hospital for treatment. The fourth man managed to flee on foot, but was later arrested.

One of the men taken to hospital later died from his injuries.

According to TT, the Jaguar used in the heist was stolen in Kungälv in western Sweden on Wednesday.

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CRIME

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

A man was shot to death in Kristianstad, Skåne, late on Thursday night. He is the 48th person to be shot dead in Sweden this year, meaning that the previous record for most fatal shootings in one year set in 2020 has now been broken.

Sweden breaks yearly record for fatal shootings

“Unfortunately we can’t say more than that he’s in his twenties and we have no current suspects,” duty officer Mikael Lind told TT newswire.

According to police statistics, this most recent deadly shooting means that 48 people have been shot to death in 2022, meaning that Sweden has broken a new record for deadly shootings per year.

Earlier this week, Sweden’s police chief Anders Thornberg said that this number is likely to rise even higher before the end of the year.

“It looks like we’re going to break the record this year,” he told TT on Tuesday. “That means – if it continues at the same pace – around 60 deadly shootings.”

“If it ends up being such a large increase that would be very unusual,” said Manne Gerell, criminiologist at Malmö University.

“We saw a large increase between 2017 and 2018, and we could see the same now, as we’re on such low figures in Sweden. But it’s still worrying that it’s increasing by so much over such a short time period,” he said.

There also seems to be an upwards trend in the number of shootings overall during 2022. 273 shootings had occured by September 1st this year, compared with 344 for the whole of 2021 and 379 for the whole of 2020.

If shootings continue at this rate for the rest of 2022, it is likely that the total number for the year would be higher than 2021 and 2020. There are, however, fewer injuries.

“The majority of shootings cause no injuries, but this year, mortality has increased substantially,” Gerell explained. “There aren’t more people being shot, but when someone is shot, they’re more likely to die.”

Thursday’s shooting took place in Kristianstad, but it’s only partially true that deadly gun violence is becoming more common in smaller cities.

“It’s moved out somewhat to smaller cities, but we’re overexaggerating that effect,” Gerell said. “We’re forgetting that there have been shootings in other small cities in previous years.”

A report from the Crime Prevention Council (Brå) presented last spring showed that Sweden, when compared with 22 different countries in Europe, was the only one with an upwards trend for deadly shootings.

Temporary increases can be seen during some years in a few countries, but there were no countries which showed such a clear increase as Sweden has seen for multiple years in a row, according to Brå.

The Swedish upwards trend for deadly gun violence began in the beginning of the 2000s, but the trend took off in 2013 and has continued to increase since.

Eight of ten deadly shootings take place in criminal environments, the study showed. The Swedish increase has taken place in principle only among the 20-29 year old age group.

When police chief Anders Thornberg was asked how the trend can be broken, he said that new recruitments are one of the most important factors.

“The most important thing is to break recruitment, make sure we can listen encrypted and that we can get to the profits of crime in a better way,” he said.

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